‘One shot, one kill’ philosophy won’t change, says Trinidad top cop

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‘One shot, one kill’ philosophy won’t change, says Trinidad top cop
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (CMC Photo)
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (CMC Photo)

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith is chal­leng­ing any­one who dis­agrees with his ‘one shot, one kill’ phi­los­o­phy for po­lice of­fi­cers in life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions to re­port him to the po­lice.

Grif­fith on Thursday de­fend­ed his con­tro­ver­sial mantra, which he in­sists co­in­cides with the of­fi­cial T&T Po­lice Ser­vice’s ‘use of force’ pol­i­cy.

“I am sor­ry but in lo­cal par­lance, ‘who vex, loss,’” Grif­fith told Guardian Me­dia by tele­phone yes­ter­day, as he dou­bled down on his crit­i­cism of Fix­in’ T&T pres­i­dent Kirk Wait­he.

Wait­he has de­scribed the ‘one shot, one kill’ pol­i­cy as ‘dan­ger­ous.’

“Kirk Wait­he has prob­a­bly nev­er held a wa­ter gun in his life,” he quipped.

“You (Wait­he) have the au­dac­i­ty to ques­tion my ethics and my type of lead­er­ship? Well, I am sor­ry, it is not chang­ing, and if Kirk Wait­he or any­one has an is­sue with it and they feel I am break­ing the law, let them re­port it to the po­lice.”

He added, “The TTPS is un­der fire, my of­fi­cers are un­der fire on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and pre­vi­ous­ly they were back­ing off be­cause they did not know if they were go­ing to get the sup­port from the hi­er­ar­chy. I as the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice, I am giv­ing full sup­port to any po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Grif­fith in­sist­ed that most of the gen­er­al pub­lic en­dors­es his sup­port for of­fi­cers to use lethal force when they face gun­fire.

“It is not a gen­er­al con­cern. Kirk Wait­he is the on­ly per­son who has been say­ing it and you all (the me­dia) have been feed­ing it and giv­ing him fod­der,” Grif­fith said.

He al­so re­it­er­at­ed his com­mit­ment to equip­ping po­lice of­fi­cers with a range of non-lethal weapons, in­clud­ing ba­tons, pep­per spray, tasers and rub­ber bul­lets.

The TTPS’ Use of Force Pol­i­cy, pub­lished in May 2011, says an of­fi­cer can use dead­ly force “when the of­fi­cer rea­son­ably be­lieves such ac­tion is im­me­di­ate­ly nec­es­sary to pro­tect him­self or oth­ers from im­mi­nent dan­ger of death or griev­ous bod­i­ly harm.” It al­so says an of­fi­cer is un­der no oblig­a­tion to re­treat or de­sist when he or she en­coun­ters re­sis­tance, “un­less cir­cum­stances ex­ist which would make re­treat­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young al­so threw his sup­port be­hind Grif­fith’s pol­i­cy on Thurs­day, say­ing of­fi­cers had the right to de­fend them­selves if they end­ed up in a gun bat­tle. How­ev­er, he as­sert­ed that of­fi­cers in po­lice-in­volved killing must obey the laws in do­ing so.

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  1. Stark, Sheer, n Utter Nonsense.... Sir, I professionally call for Ur Immediate Resignation... As per The Legacy of President Obama n His Attorney General, Eric Holder... n Closer to Home... As per The Legacy of Former Prime Minister of St. Lucia, The Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony... n As per Myself... The Efficacist... Ur 'One Shot-One Kill" Approach is Un-Constitutional, Un-Caribbean, n Un-Wise... To All Police Officers:... Please Be Professional At All Times.... Please Shoot As Many Times As Necessary To Protect Life, including Ur Own... Please Operate Professionally- That Is: Obey n Preserve Law n Order At All Times As U All Battle Crime... Criminals Stop The Crime - Already... Caribbean-People-Efficacy... God Bless Us All...!!!

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